For many years, Rod Cooper tried to induce the Kanorado gas station’s owner to sell his 1928 White Eagle Gas Station. Finally, with the building’s roof collapsing and almost nothing holding up the structure from within, the owner’s daughter convinced him to sell.
Cooper’s next problem became how to bring the fragile station from Kanorado to Goodland. After some searching, he found a mover who was willing to move the building. Moving Day came June 11, 2011. Citizens lined the roads to see the spectacle. One told the Goodland Star-News (PDF), “Rod sure knows how to draw a crowd.”
White Eagle Gas station gets repaired
Once the gas station was in place at Clark and 17th, the next phase of work began. The Cooper family repaired the structure, installed windows, connected plumbing and electricity. The interior is full of White Eagle and related oil company memorabilia (called petroliana). Besides the oil company theme, the gas station holds items from Kanorado.
In 2012, the City of Goodland repaved part of Main Street. Cooper preserved the original Main Street bricks and laid them in the gas station driveway (PDF).
More items of interest sit on the lot surrounding the gas station. The late Laramie Farris, a friend of the Cooper family, painted the kerosene tank.
Two stone arches stand on the east and west of the lot. They originally sat behind Bill Kaup’s house near the current Grant Historic Residences. A man whose son had gone into the service built them from petrified wood during the war years. The builder needed to distract himself from his worries.
Kaup told Cooper he could have the arches, but Kaup didn’t believe they could be moved intact. Cooper hired bricklayers. They built a frame and moved the arches. When they reached the gas station’s lot, the arches were intact and ready to put into place.
Respectful people are welcome to walk the grounds and look into the gas station’s windows. The station’s interior is open by appointment only. Call 785-890-3515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.